Itinerary

Journey Through Eurasia Joining in Europe 2021
Date:
September 05, 2021 - October 02, 2021
Meeting point:
Skiathos, Greece
Length:
28 days / 27 nights
Mileage:
4,905 NM
Day 1 - Sunday, September 5: Arrival in Skiathos, Greece

Welcome to Skiathos! Air Journey staff will greet you at the Atrium Hotel.
 
All participants will meet for introductions and a welcome cocktail before dinner.

Renowned among returning guests for offering unparalleled Greek hospitality, Atrium Hotel Skiathos is a home away from home. All accommodations are inspired by nature, seamlessly blending wooden and stone elements to create a comfortable and modern ambience.
 
Atrium Hotel Skiathos masterfully combines style, tradition, and high-end, tailor-made service, with an emphasis on the guests’ personal needs and preferences. Its accommodations boast high-end facilities and stunning, panoramic views of the sea or the island’s idyllic natural landscape, making for an unrivalled and unforgettable Skiathos experience.
 
We will meet for introductions and a welcome cocktail before dinner.

Hotel : Atrium Hotel
Welcome cocktail and Dinner included
Day 2 - Monday, September 6: Skiathos

Skiathos presents an ideal combination for leisure and sea sports. There are more than 60 beautiful beaches with golden sand or white pebbles; a turquoise sea to swim or sail in; today we’ll go on a half day boat tour to the neighboring islands of skopelos and sail to the Pelion peninsula (Mainland Greece).

Hotel : Atrium Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 3 - Tuesday, September 7: Skiathos

Today is a day to relax or explore on your own. 

Hotel : Atrium Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 4 - Wednesday, September 8: Skiathos → Tbilisi - Tour of Old Town (990nm)

Fly to Tbilisi. Upon arrival at Tbilisi international airport this afternoon, clearing immigration and customs, the group will be met by our local guide. You will then be privately transferred to your hotel in the center of town by private luxury vehicle. Transfer to Tbilisi (30min) and check in at the Stamba Tbilisi Hotel.
 
Stamba Hotel was conceived to highlight the industrial splendor of the 20th century printing house in which it is situated. Housed within historic atriums, passages and courtyards of what was once Georgia's most important printing house, Stamba Hotel is a celebration of Tbilisi's ever-evolving identity as a hotbed of talent and originality.
 
This afternoon explore the sites of this captivating city with your expert guide in a private luxury vehicle. Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and the country’s largest city. The city is a vibrant example of the mix of nationalities, cultures, religions, and ethnic groups found in Georgia. Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Georgian King of Kartli (Iberia) and made into a capital in the 6th century. Today Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social, and cultural center.
 
We will pass through the old quarters and the center, with its famous sulfur springs along the Mtkvari River. Traditional houses with balconies and grape vines are the backdrop to our stroll towards Narikhala, the 4th century fort overlooking the city.

Hotel : Stamba Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 5 - Thursday, September 9: Visit Mtskheta - the Ancient Capital of Georgia - Uplistsikhe cave town

This morning drive to Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgia. The country's conversion to Christianity occurred in Mtskheta in 337 AD and it is considered one of Georgia's most important religious centers. Saint Nino erected the first Christian cross and the first churches were built here. Visit the monastery of Jvari perched on a cliff overlooking Mtskheta and continue to the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.  
 
Svetitskhoveli church has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. Continue to Château Mukhrani. The Château was established as the prince’s estate of the royal Bagrationi name. In 1876, Ivane Mukhranbatoni, a royal family representative and political and public figure of 19th century Georgia returned from France with the chateau winemaking concept and since then the estate’s own winemaking history began.
 
Our wine tour will guide us to discover the Georgian royal family history and breath-taking legends, a flavor of antiquity and enchanting wines which have just won 4 prestigious Medals the 23rd Grand International Wine Award Mundus Vini - one of the most important wine competitions in the world.
 
After a delicious lunch accompanied by wine tasting, we will continue the drive to Gori town to visit the cave town Uplistsikhe (Fortress of the Lord) dating from the 1st millennium BC. 
 

Hotel : Stamba Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 6 - Friday, September 10: Tbilisi

Today is a day to relax or explore on your own. 

Hotel : Stamba Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 7 - Saturday, September 11: Tbilisi - Baku, Azerbaijan (240nm)

Fly to Baku - straddling the Middle East, Europe and Asia, the enigmatic capital of Azerbaijan sits on the coast of the opal-blue waters of the Caspian Sea, with the Caucasus Mountains to the west.
 
Upon arrival, we will transfer to the beaux -arts-style Four Seasons Hotel perched along the waterfront in the heart of central Baku.

Hotel : Four Seasons Hotel Baku
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 8 - Sunday, September 12: Baku

Today we will go for a half day city tour of Baku. Step into the history and see the wonders that lie inside the 12th- century walls of Icheri Sheher, or The Inner City, during our guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
 
On the way we will stop to savor layered Baklava stuffed with walnuts and spices and pick up jars of homemade jam.
 
We then stroll along New Boulevard; seaside streets lined with charming teahouses and cafes, and see the cultural insights at the Yarat Contemporary Art Centre and Azerbaijan Stone Museum.

Hotel : Four Seasons Hotel Baku
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 9 - Monday, September 13: Baku

Today is a day to relax or explore on your own. 

Hotel : Four Seasons Hotel Baku
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 10 - Tuesday, September 14: Baku → Bukhara, Uzbekistan (670nm)

Fly to Bukhara. Upon arrival, we will transfer to the Zargaron Plaza Hotel situated in Bukhara's historic center.
 
One of Central Asia's oldest cities, Bukhara was a legendary stop on the ancient Silk Road, a network of trade routes between China and Europe. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its historic center, the city remains the best example of a well-preserved medieval Central Asian city.

Hotel : Zargaron Plaza Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 11 - Wednesday, September 15: Bukhara

With our local guide, explore Bukhara's historic center.
 
Experience a time when this ancient city was a fabled trading outpost on the Silk Road and an intellectual center for Islamic scholars. Take note of not only the impressive mosques, religious schools and shrines that represent the best of Islamic architecture, but also the careful urban planning that led to the city's UNESCO designation.

Hotel : Zargaron Plaza Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 12 - Thursday, September 16: Bukhara > Samarkand, Uzbekistan (115nm)

Fly to Samarkand - one of the highlights of Uzbekistan. This small town is packed with strikingly beautiful architecture and so much history.
 
Upon arrival, we'll transfer to Emir Han hotel, positioned right on the patch of Silk Road that famously connects Samarkand and Bukhara.

Hotel : Emir Han
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 13 - Friday, September 17: Samarkand

Our full day city tour begins with a visit to Registan, a central courtyard surrounded on three sides by Madrasahs. Tillya-Kori, the Sherdor Madrasa on the right and the Ulu Bey Medresesi on the left has walls covered in intricate gold. The Bibi-Khanym mosque has another great interior courtyard and is located in front of the Siab Bazaar, where you will experience the local food market.
 
Our tour then continues to Gur-E-Amir complex and the Shah-I-Zinda-Mousoleum another magnificent art that Samarkand has to offer.

Hotel : Emir Han
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 14 - Saturday, September 18: Samarkand → Mary, Turkmenistan (270nm)

Fly to Mary. Upon arrival, we will drive east of Mary, towards Bayram-Ali, the contemporary re-incarnation and humble suburb of the glorious Ancient Merv (UNESCO World Heritage Site). One of the major archaeological sites of Central Asia, Merv played an important part in the development of the Silk Road for more than 2000 years. Within the limits of the archaeological park, which is 1200 ha, you will have a chance to observe all constituent parts of the “wandering city”.
 
We will then visit the 6-9th centuries AD forts of Big and Little Kyz-Kalas, excellent examples of the so-called corrugated Koshks; the splendid XII c. mausoleums of Sultan Sanjar and Muhammed ibn-Zeyd, demonstrating exquisite Seljuk period brickwork and architectural decor. If time permits, a possible visit to several more interesting spots within the site.
 
After sightseeing, we will head back to Mary for lunch at a local restaurant. Then visit Regional Mary Museum, presenting a wide array of archaeological finds (dating back to the 3rd mill. BC through the late 19th century) from both Ancient Merv and Bronze Age sites as well as interesting ethnographic displays reconstructing the scenes of daily life of the Turkmen population and other minorities of the Murghab oasis.
 
At the end of the tour, we will check in to Mary Hotel, located in the city center. It is the largest hotel in Mary city built in 2015. There are 177 rooms equipped in classical style. The six-floor hotel has a restaurant, a gym, swimming pool, and sauna. There are tennis courts in the adjoining territory. Apart from that, guests may enjoy shopping in the souvenir and the carpet shops.

Hotel : Mary Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 15 - Sunday, September 19: Mary → Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (170nm)

Fly to Ashgabat. Upon arrival we will transfer to Yyldyz hotel which has the best views of the capital and the Kopetdag Mountains.
 
This afternoon there is an orientation tour of the city.  You will see such monuments as the Monument and Park of Independence (looking like a white-marble “Eiffel Tower” standing in a beautiful park) and a rocket-like Arch of Neutrality, beautiful Ertoghrul Gazie Mosque (reminiscent of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul), and the unusual “Palace of Happiness” (the official name for the Wedding Palace).
 
In the evening you will enjoy a folk show of traditional Turkmen music and songs, see some of Turkmen customs and rituals.

Hotel : Yyldyz
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 16 - Monday, September 20: Ashgabat: Old Nisa and Arkadash horse farm

This morning our tour includes the World Heritage listed fortress of Old Nisa, the earliest of the Parthian Empire capitals. Located in an atmospheric area on an irregular pentagon hill, at the foot of the Kopet-Dag Mountains, Old Nisa is a beautiful landmark. Afterwards continue to the Arkadash stud farm, home of the famous Akhal-Tekke horse. The breed is one of the oldest in existence and well known for its stamina. Snacks and tea will be provided at the farm.
 
On the way back to Ashgabat make we will stop in Kipchak to visit a complex of the biggest mosque in Turkmenistan (called “Turkmenbashi Spirituality Mosque”) and the family mausoleum of the first President.
 
The National Museum of History (more than 327.000 objects on a display) exhibits exclusive ancient artifacts from different historical & archaeological sites of Turkmenistan, such as Old Nisa, Ancient Merv, Kunya-Urgench & others.

 

Hotel : Yyldyz
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 17 - Tuesday, September 21: Ashgabat → Yerevan, Armenia (660nm)

Fly to Yerevan, Armenia. Upon arrival we will transfer to The Alexander Luxury Collection.

Introducing an exclusive new address to the city’s developing social landscape, The Alexander is heralded as the first luxury international hotel in the historic center of Yerevan. Each of the 114 non-smoking guestrooms and suites features scaled back, minimalist design, grand gold accents and hints of decorative Armenian motifs. The Alexander’s collection of bars and res-taurants attracts Yerevan’s most discerning social scene.

After a short one hour rest, we will go for a panoramic drive of the city Yerevan, see Opera and Ballet Building, Presidential House, National Assembly, Republic Square.

Visit the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial. Continue to Yerevan Brandy Factory for tour and Cognac tasting. Visit the Cascade Monument and modern art galleries.

Hotel : Alexander Luxury Collection
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 18 - Wednesday, September 22: Explore the Geghar Cave monastery and Garny Temple

This morning we will drive with our local guide to Geghard, one of the treasures of Armenia.
 
It is a medieval monastery in the Kotayk province of Armenia, partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
While the main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave. The name commonly used for the monastery today, Geghard, or more fully Geghardavank, meaning "the Monastery of the Spear", takes its name from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude, called here Thaddeus, and stored amongst many other relics.
 
Enjoy a private Spiritual Vocal Concert arranged specially for you. 
 
Continue to Garni, a large village in the Kotayk Province of Armenia which is known for the nearby classical temple. En route stop for lunch at a rustic local restaurant. Enjoy the local food as well as the master class of Armenian lavish bread making.
 
After lunch, continue to the ancient pagan temple of Garni, a classical Hellenistic temple and the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. It is the only "Greco-Roman colonnaded building" in Armenia and the former Soviet Union. Enjoy traditional duduk flute by the temple.
 
We return back to Yerevan to visit Matenadaran Museum - The Institute of Ancient Manuscripts.

Hotel : Alexander Luxury Collection
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 19 - Thursday, September 23: Yerevan → Kayseri, Turkey (420nm)

Fy to Kayseri, Turkey. Upon arrival we will transfer to the Museum Hotel in Kapakokya.

The Museum Hotel is composed from the restorations of old ruins into a luxury boutique hotel. With its unique location you can enjoy panoramic views of the major sites of the region including Avanos, Goreme, Love Valley, Pigeon Valley, Red Valley and Mt. Erciyes from all its rooms.
 
The hotel founder is an antique collector that has a great collection from the period of Ottoman, Seljuk, Roman, and Hittite. His vision was to allow hotel guests to experience the Cappadocian culture and let them feel the sense of a living museum.

Hotel : The Museum Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 20 - Friday, September 24: Balloon Adventure - Goreme - Kaymakli - Fairy Chimneys

If the velocity of the wind will be suitable today, we will have an early bird departure from the hotel for a formidable “Balloon Adventure” over the enchanting “lunar landscape” of Cappadocia, to hail the slowly rising sun with a glass of champagne.  The balloon ride over Cappadocia at sunrise is an experience of a lifetime. With all the excitement of seeing from above, the farthest “fairy chimneys” of the vast region as a lunar landscape, only possible in one's fantasies.
 
We will then return back to our hotel. After Breakfast,  our  tour  continues  to  explore  the most extraordinary treasures of sacred art, the rock-carved churches of Goreme, now an ‘open- air museum’. This museum hosts some of the finest examples of ninth and tenth century. What survives at Goreme and other sites scattered about Cappadocia marks out the region's rock- cut churches and chapels as one of the greatest museums of medieval art in the world.

Next, we will visit another marvel of the region: the ‘underground city’ at Kaymakli. The enigmatic cellar villages, over 40 of which have been discovered empty, are among the wonders of Cappadocia.
 
After a morning of touring glorious sites in Cappadocia, we will be transferred to a specially-chosen vantage spot where white-gloved country lunch has been arranged. Right in the midst of the Cappadocian landscape next to “fairy-chimneys,” this is truly being here!
 
Another cultural experience, unique to this region, is a visit to the group of young village girls from all over Cappadocia, at their “Art School,” where they happily learn to become masters of the national art of weaving Turkish carpets and kilims to be able to contribute to their traditional dowry, before they get married.

Hotel : The Museum Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 21 - Saturday, September 25: Kayseri

Today is a day to relax or explore on your own. 

Hotel : The Museum Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 22 - Sunday, September 26: Kayseri → Bodrum, Turkey (380nm)

Fly to Bodrum, situated on the southern Aegean coast of Turkey. This fabled coastline is where Homer's heroes were born, where the ancient Greeks consulted their oracles and the Romans built magnificent temples to honor their gods.

Hotel : Amanruya
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 23 - Monday, September 27: Bodrum

Today we will go for a half day city tour and explore the ancient sites from Greek and Roman history dotted across the Aegan coastline, a short drive or sail away. For centuries the region has been a center of traditional artisan Turkish crafts. Built in the early 15th century, Bodrum castle remains a medieval relic, fortified with green volcanic stones and marble columns.

Hotel : Amanruya
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 24 - Tuesday, September 28: Bodrum

Today is at leisure to relax and explore on your own.

Hotel : Amanruya
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 25 - Wednesday, September 29: Bodrum → Milan, Italy (990nm)

Fly to Milan where we will transfer to Como. Immerce yourself in Lake Como and enjoy a breathtaking setting on the shores  of  Italy's  most  famous  lake. Mandarin  Oriental, Lago di Como exudes romantic Italian style perfectly complemented by timeless Oriental charm. Atmospheric, elegant and incredibly private, the hotel effortlessly blends the romance of the past with the luxury of the present. 

Hotel : Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como
Breakfast included
Day 26 - Thursday, September 30: Como

With our local guide we’ll begin an exploration of Como, the lake’s main town, as we discover the historic center.
 
After lunch, enjoy a cruise around Lake Como admiring chic hillside villas and hotels against the backdrop of the Alps.

Hotel : Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 27 - Friday, October 1: Como

Today is at leisure to relax or explore on your own. 

Hotel : Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 28 - Saturday, October 2: Milan > Home

After breakfast, we will fly separate ways as we head home.
 

Breakfast included